My partner, Maria Polewsky, and I, Christoph Henn, decided to found greendesert gGmbH in mid-2020 after we had read the book from the youth council of the generation foundation, “You have no plan, that's why we're doing oneThe commitment of the young authors impressed us so much that we decided to support this impulse and to push ahead with one aspect of their demands with all our might: It is about resolutely countering the impending climate catastrophe through afforestation and the catastrophic loss of species. It quickly became clear that in Germany you can't just plant a meadow or a field with forest trees. This is prevented by a land use plan by the Lower Nature Conservation Authority in many regions. Therefore, we were looking for large unused areas that are available for reforestation projects. We came across projects that had already been carried out for the afforestation of desert areas in Egypt.(See reforestation project in the Egyptian Sahara) For this project we need numerous individual donations and well-known large donations in order to be able to implement the existing concepts for the development of agroforestry systems.
We are convinced that small reforestation measures and projects to promote high biodiversity are also very important. That is why we have already bought smaller forest properties and a large meadow in Birnbach (Westerwald) from private funds. We have already started to plant this meadow into a meadow orchard.
Since the participation of people with disabilities is very important to us, we work together with the care facility Erlebniswald gUG in Bonn.
Management: Christoph Henn (Dipl.-Ing. Agr.)
My aim is to counteract the impending climate catastrophe and the extinction of species now. A lot of scientific papers agree with the demands of the youth council. Planting trees could trap large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Diverse mixed deciduous forests create new habitats for many animals. Since afforestation in Germany on arable land and meadows is very strictly regulated, areas have to be found in other countries. The afforestation of desert areas in Egypt offers good conditions here.
It's about acting now!
Co-partner and founding initiative : Maria Polewsky (senior student councilor)
A day without forest and green, that's not possible for me. The forest is a source of strength for me. The sight of dead and sick trees hurts my soul. I wish for a future worth living for my grandchildren without climate catastrophes and environmental destruction. Now it is a matter of planting trees of the future and living fairness between generations. That is why I support the goals of greendesert gGmbH.
Project manager afforestation Germany: Frederik Wolff
The reforestation of dead spruce monocultures and their conversion into species-rich mixed forests is a matter close to my heart. For many years I have been actively committed to environmental protection and biodiversity.
As a long-term employee of the non-profit Erlebniswald UG, I volunteer for inclusion and environmental education for children and young people with and without disabilities.
Inclusion Officer: Julia Reich (Bachelor Social Work)
“And if I knew that tomorrow the world would end, I would plant an apple tree today” (based on Luther). Working with full strength for the projects of greendesert gGmbH gives me a feeling of inner satisfaction, the feeling of having achieved something useful. I think the planting of trees in the orchard with the help of people with different needs is great: the people they care for can do something meaningful in the great outdoors and at the same time we do something good for the environment.
All employees, including the management, work on a voluntary basis for the non-profit GmbH!
Hany El Kateb is a member of the Presidential Advisory Board for high-ranking scientists and experts from Egypt, a former scientist at the Technical University of Munich and an international senior advisor. He is a German citizen of Egyptian origin. He is a forest biometrician with degrees in agriculture, forestry and biometrics in Egypt, Germany and South Africa. He has more than 40 years of experience in research and teaching at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and the Technical University of Munich. His research activities in forestry and resource management were on all continents and he has many years of international experience in forestry, agriculture and the implementation of interdisciplinary projects. He initiated the project "Development of a sustainable forest management in desert areas of Egypt using wastewater" and for this purpose brought about the creation of a cooperation between the Egyptian government and the Bavarian state government. For this project he received the first prize of the German Science Center in 2014 for the outstanding support of the German-Egyptian cooperation in science and innovation.To adapt and mitigate climate change, he developed a concept for an agro-ecosystem in arid regions with high diversity, in which various trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in biomass and soil. This sustainable, integrated agriculture produces healthy organic food without waste. He believes that the right solutions to the challenges the world is facing today are based on the sustainable management of available resources. At the same time, we should incorporate science and innovative technologies to build a better future where people live in harmony with nature and where air, water and soil are not polluted.
Prof. Dr. Hossam Hammad is a leading expert in agriculture and forestry and has more than 35 years of experience in management, research and consulting. Prof. Dr. Hammad has a long and varied career as State Secretary for Afforestation and the Environment at the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, as Head of the Research Department for Forest Trees and Horticulture at the Agricultural Research Center, and as Head of the Supervision of the Parks and Gardens of the Presidential and Government Palaces. He represents the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture at many international conferences and workshops in the fields of agriculture, forestry and climate change. It promotes the establishment of forests with biodiversity in desert areas, which bring advantages for global and regional climate protection.
Extract from our statutes:
§2 The purpose of the company is:
The company pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes within the meaning of the section "Tax-privileged purposes" of the tax code.
The company finances the planting and sustainable care of trees in arid areas in Germany and abroad (preferably Egypt). Both large-scale afforestation measures and plantings in agroforestry or forest garden systems are planned. Instead of desert or wasteland, new ecosystems with high biodiversity are being created. The aim is to bind climate-damaging CO2 from the atmosphere in biomass (e.g. wood) and in permanent humus in the soil and thus counteract an impending climate catastrophe.